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Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media
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''Eric Klinenberg has given us a chilling report on how the American news media, increasingly concentrated, have made a mockery of the commitment to operate 'in the public interest, convenience, and necessity.' Admirably researched and lucidly written, Fighting for Air should serve as a wake-up call on the deafness of radio and television to communal needs.'' --Daniel Schorr, Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
More About the Author
Klinenberg's previous books include Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, also published by the Penguin Press. Time Magazine featured Going Solo as the #1 Idea That is Changing Your Life in the March 12, 2012 cover story. Vanity Fair called it "trailblazing." Psychology Today called it "so important that it is likely to become both a popular read and a social science classic." The New Yorker argued that the book "suggests that our usual perceptions about life alone get things backward." And the Washington Post explained that "Going Solo is really about living better together--for all of us, single or not."
Klinenberg's first book, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, won six scholarly and literary prizes (and was a Favorite Book selection by the Chicago Tribune), and was praised as "a dense and subtle portrait" (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker); "a remarkable, riveting account" (American Prospect); "intellectually exciting" (Amartya Sen); and a "trenchant, persuasive tale of slow murder by public policy" (Salon).
Professor Klinenberg's second book, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media, was called "politically passionate and intellectually serious," (Columbia Journalism Review), "a must-read for those who wonder what happened to good radio, accurate reporting and autonomous public interest" (Time Out New York), and "eye-opening ...required reading for conscientious citizens" (Kirkus). Since its publication, he has testified before the Federal Communications Commission and briefed the U.S. Congress on his findings.
In addition to his books and scholarly articles, Klinenberg has contributed to popular publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Fortune, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, Slate, and the radio program This American Life.
Top Customer Reviews
Anyone who wants to understand the media reform movement should buy this book. More importantly, this is the book to give your friends and relatives so that they can understand why the media reform movement matters, and why it will succeed in transforming the media landscape despite the multi-billion dollar forces arrayed against it.
Others have written excellent books on the rise of media concentration and why it sucks rocks. What makes Fighting for Air different, and therefore a must read, is that it chronicles the history of the media reform *movement*. Certainly you will understand by the end of the book why media concentration has inspired a movement of people dedicated to stopping further consolidation and reversing the effects of our increasingly centralized and homogenized media. But this realization comes through the telling of the stories of the movement -- its people, its victories, and its set backs.
My only criticism is that a more extensive discussion of the political economy of consolidation and its wider context in the US and international economies, and a more detailed critique of the failed libertarian economic paradigm which was used to sell consolidation to policymakers would be useful. But that would be asking for a much longer and more complicated book, and one which would probably not have done as admirable a job in explaining in simple and direct terms the complexities of consolidation and its dreadful consequences of American public life.
I recommend Fighting for Air as essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this vital area of public policy.
So how did this happen? Over the past two decades our government has been "deregulating" media. At one time, no company was allowed to own more than one television station in a community. The number of radio stations were also strictly regulated. And the FCC would never have allowed a company that owned a major daily newspaper to own a television station in the same town. All of this began to change in the 1980's as broadcasters cried poverty and declared that they were having a difficult time turning a profit.Read more ›
Diane C. Donovan
The accountants, marketers, & investment bamkers have stormed the newsrooms and hijacked its mission - there is NO LONGER THE ILLUSION THAT PUBLIC SERVICE IS THERE FIRST MISSION. IT has become instead a mission to establish local momopolies. Jack up advertising rates, downsize the editorial staffs( & where possible, break up unions), shrink news rooms.
News is actually commentary and entertaiment, not local reporting. What used to be a public trust is now just a cash cow.
What has been lost for the citizen is what A.J. Liebling, legendary press critic, called diversity in ownership that promotes competition, creates opportunities for smaller companies, local business people, creative programming, and in its stead, no public benefit. In short its the journalism, not the news print, that should be the bottom line.
Now they are going after the internet spreading THE LIE that new technology has rendered the changes of internet consolidation obsolite. Net Neutality is in the fascist's crosshairs.
Speaking of Michael Powell, who never met a merger he did'nt like, or monopoloy for that matter; the public be damned was his attitude.
In short the checks & balances made possible by diverse competition are being eradicated. When it all comes down to it there will be 2 or 3 companies that essentially own access to our culture. It will be impossible to break up as THOSE MONOPOLIES WILL BE SO POLITICALLY POWERFULL AND WILLING TO SPEND UNGODLY AMOUNTS OF $$$ - THAT NO GOVERNMENT COULD STAND UP TO THEM.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Captivating read, starts out with a vivid and interesting narrative.Published 15 months ago by College Student
Book looks and feels brand new. Got the book for a class and barely have time to read it. Likely will sell it once school out.Published 16 months ago by Barb J.
I was required to read this book for an advanced level communications class. I found the book boring and dull. Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by JJ